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Blackberry Smoke Working on New Album

Blackberry Smoke
David McClister

Blackberry Smoke just released their live album, ‘Leave a Scar: Live in North Carolina’ this month, but fans won’t have to wait too long for another set of tunes from the country rockers. The group have revealed they are already hard at work on a new record, this time working with veteran rock producer Brendan O’Brien, whose credits include Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, AC/DC and others.

“He’s a legend for a reason, you know?” lead singer Charlie Starr tells Rolling Stone Country of their choice for a producer. “Brendan O’Brien makes great records. He has the know-how and resume to prove it.”

The Georgia-based band say that using a rock producer for the upcoming project was a natural fit for them.

“He’s an old Atlanta guy and I think a few of us had met him and hung out with him over the years way back in the day, but this is a new experience for us as a band,” Starr adds. “We recorded live [in the studio] a lot again, and we tried a few different things as well.”

Blackberry Smoke released their 2012 album, ‘The Whippoorwill’ on Zac Brown‘s Southern Ground record label, producing the album themselves along with Brown and two of Brown’s bandmates, Clay Cook and Matt Mangano. But even with a different producer, Starr says the new record will still have their signature sound.

“It’s not a huge departure from any of our albums,” Starr maintains. “There’s really big rock and roll songs on it, and some laid back moments as well. We maybe are mixing it up a little more than last time.”

Part of what makes their eclectic sound work, the singer adds, is that they purposefully try to blur the genre lines.

“It’s really southern music,” Starr tells The Boot. “If it makes sense to people, that’s totally cool. It’s just southern music. Our main influences might not just be Marshall Tucker, the Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hank Williams, Bill Monroe — it runs the gamut for us — it’s just all kinds of stuff. That’s what makes us happy at the end of the day.”

‘Leave a Scar: Live in North Carolina’ is The Boot’s Album of the Month for July. The two-disc project includes a live DVD as well, with bonus footage of the band at home, along with recording ‘Yesterday’s Wine’ with Jamey Johnson and the late George Jones.

“We’ve wanted to make a live album for as long as I can remember,” Starr explains. “I think we really captured the essence of our show and the accompanying DVD gives fans a little more insight into life behind the scenes.”

Purchase ‘Leave a Scar, Live: North Carolina’ here.

Next: Top 10 Country Acts Who Rock

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